What Readers are saying about The Indenture of Ivy O’Neill
“This historical novel by Diane Helentjaris needs a Trigger Warning for readers—it’s a one-sit read. The best thing you can do after picking up this book is head to the nearest hotel that has room service. Order a pot of coffee and whatever you want to nosh on. Settle down for a good read without a care in the world beyond the Irish lass, Ivy O’Neill, as she becomes an indentured servant in the New World.”
– Lenora Rain-Lee Good, author, The Bride’s Gate and Other Assorted Writings
“When she was eleven, Ivy O’Neil’s family home was attacked and burned by English soldiers and her baby brother killed in the raid. The family had to flee their home in Ardmore for and ended up living in an abandoned house in An Rinn, an area that the English had no interest in. When Ivy and her brother, Sean, are kidnapped by an unscrupulous English ship captain and taken to Maryland colony in America, where they are sold into indentured servitude, Ivy must call upon all her wits and strength just to survive, first the perilous sea voyage and then the existence as a stranger in an even stranger land.
Ivy survives anti-Catholic, anti-Irish prejudice and being falsely accused of murder and comes to learn that people are not as different as she had long believed.
The Indenture of Ivy O’Neil by Diane Helentjaris is a fine work of historical fiction that brings American colonial history to colorful life, warts and all. The author doesn’t sugar coat the colonial experience as too often happens and gives a different perspective that can be found in the history texts. She gives voice to those who, like the African slaves who were brought against their will via the middle passage, have been left off the pages of the history books, but whose labors are what truly built the nation.
The hallmark of good historical fiction is that it tells an interesting story and the history is the backdrop to the character’s actions. You come away with new knowledge of history without feeling that you’ve been lectured to, and the knowledge sticks because you got it through a vicarious experience.
I found this book a riveting read and give it four and a half stars.”
– Charles Ray, author.